How Many Dogs or Cats Can You Own in Ontario, Canada?


Is there a limit on the number of dogs or cats a resident can have in the Canadian Province of Ontario? The answer is Yes, but it depends on where in Ontario you live. In most Ontario cities, the number of dogs you can own is capped at three. With that in mind, let's quickly look at pet ownership restrictions in some Ontario cities.

Cats and dogs


If you live in the city of Toronto, you are allowed to own up to six dogs and three cats. Toronto dog owners are prohibited from walking more than three dogs at once without a commercial dog walker’s permit. Furthermore, all cats and dogs living within the city limits of Toronto must be licensed and wear a tag. You can get a dog license online in Toronto by visiting the City's pet licensing website. However, you can't replace your tag online if you lost it in Toronto. In this case, you need to contact 416-338-7387 for assistance.


The city of Ottawa allows no more than three dogs or five cats per residence. The total number of both dogs and cats an Ottawa resident can keep in one residence shall not exceed five. All Ottawa dog and cat owners must register their pets with the City and have their dog or cats wear their identification tags at all times. No pet owner in Ottawa shall permit their dog or cat to run at large in the City.

A dog is considered to be running at large if found off its owner's property and uncontrolled by any competent person. All dogs in Ottawa must be on a leash in any public area. Furthermore, owners of vicious dogs must muzzle their canines so as to prevent them from biting a person or domestic animal in public. It is required by law in Ottawa that every dog owner immediately remove any feces left by their dog in any public place within the City.


The city of Hamilton allows no more than four pets per household. You can either have 2 dogs and 2 cats or any combination of the two in your Hamilton home. All dogs living within the city limits of Hamilton must be licensed. Getting caught with an unlicensed dog in Hamilton can result in a $180 fine, and can go up to $10,000, depending on the severity of the offense. Hamilton pet owners must clean up after their pets, which must not be found running at large.


Residents in the city of Brampton, Ontario, can keep up to six cats and three dogs in one residence. When off their owner's property, all dogs in Brampton must be kept on a leash unless you are in an area that is designated "leash free," speaking of which, Brampton currently has three. Dog owners could pay $5,000 each time their dog is caught running at large in undesignated areas. Furthermore, all dogs and cats living in the city of Brampton must be licensed and dog owners are required by law to clean up after their dogs. Failure to clean up after your dog in Brampton could result in a $2,000 fine.

Pet Ownership Restrictions in Other Ontario Cities

You can't own more than three dogs within or about any dwelling unit in the cities of Vaughan, St. Catharines, Chatham-Kent, Cambridge, Barrie, Brantford, Oakville, Kitchener, Waterloo, Windsor, and London, Ontario. These cities do not have bylaws restricting the number of cats a resident can own. 

The city of Oshawa allows a maximum of three dogs and six cats per residence. In the city of Burlington, no more than an inclusive total of four cats and dogs are allowed per residence. Greater Sudbury residents can own as many cats or dogs as they can care for so long as the animals are spayed or neutered and licensed.

You may have three dogs and four cats in your house if you live in the city of Guelph, Ontario. The city of Pickering also allows four cats and three dogs per household. A maximum of two dogs is allowed per residence in the city of Sarnia. The City of Peterborough allows its residents to have three dogs and three cats.


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